Originally Posted by Don T
As I mentioned earlier in the thread I have a few questions regarding riding in Morocco.
As a Christmas present my girlfriend gave me the Michelin road map of Morocco (742).
Besides that I'm looking for a routable map for my GPS (garmin Zumo 660) - do you have any recommendations?
Do you have recommendations for places to stay with secure parking - I'll be riding solo so security is an issue for me, especially related to the prevention of theft.
Any heads up for a Morocco rookie on two wheels would be appreciated
Hi Tonny and anyone else that may be interested in taking their first steps to Africa!
When do you plan on traveling and with what moto?
Depending on what moto you're riding and when,will depend on what type of riding you can do.... e.g. peak summertime on a big trailie in sand is not what I would advise at all
( e.g. I didn't take my XTZ660 into the dunes on my trip at all just because I couldn't be bothered digging it out or picking it up lol...Give me a Honda CRF450 and I can ride all day in the sand lol.)
The Michelin 742 map is good to have to show you where's where for sure. There's quite a lot of pistes and villages missing etc but it's worth having in case a GPS malfunctions. I had heard a rumour that Michelin are currently updating that map and a new one will be out in 2013...again it's only a rumour at present unless anyone else can state other wise. Having said that it'll be interesting to see if there are a lot of changes to same. The GPS will have main routes etc in it and will be like just having a map.
If you check here you'll get addition stuff. Once you get to Maroc you'll be able to ask at each fuel station how long it will take to get to A to B to give some sort of real time indication.
will give you a whole list of pistes of which to download if you so desire.
In respect of getting to Maroc itself you can either take Tarifa to Tanger or Algeciras to Tanger Med..... You can buy your ticket at the ticket booths at the Spanish port by just turning up like one would do to wait for a bus.
When you board the boat you'll be directed to go straight to passport control. You can't miss it...there'll be a queue.
You'll be given a form to fill out with all the usual details,name address etc.so don't forget to bring a pen. There'll be a section asking where you'll be staying... I write Hotel Fes..Fes each time. When you hand your passport over the dude will stamp it with a serial number. This is now your 'registration number' as it were. When you disembark you'll arrive at customs. You will then fill out another form to get your moto into Maroc. The customs dudes will give your moto a cursory glance over if at all and hand you back a carbon copy of your moto entry. Keep this as this will enable you to get your moto back out when you come to leave....You'll also have to go to the police booth to show them your passport and for them to note your 'registration number' along with your details.
(The beauty about traveling there on a moto is the fact that they always wave you to the head of the queue and put you onto the boat first!!)
As I had been before they just entered my existing number on the computer,it flagged up as all OK and sent me on my way...20 mins only...On this trip the other first timers were 2 or 3 hours from memory.....
When you've been used to the EEC and the free movement you'll need to adjust to a good bit of organised chaos....IF you find yourself getting frustrated just think to yourself that this is Morocco and tomorrow it will only be a memory.
If you need insurance you can buy it at a booth on the way out .....not far from the main bus/train terminal.....if they try and make you pay for it in Euros(more attractive for them)tell them that it is for sale in the country of Morocco therefore you can pay in Dirhams....do locals pay in Euros???????..
....if they want Euros dander over to the police and report them for trying to scam you.....a tourist coming to Maroc for the first time is not getting a very good impression etc.
In the terminal you'll find a money distributor along with a cafe etc....you can get Dirhams here from your normal bank card...just make sure to inform your bank of your holiday dates so that it'll not flag up as 'stolen' thus allowing them to put a stop on it.
This time in the cafe when food was bought the dudes insisted they had no change.....I logically pointed out that I would pay for my food when they had change and that what were they doing running a business without a 'float' of change??..
I ate my food and when I returned they had miraculously found change. It was not much money but as a matter of principle I don't like getting fleeced so soon upon arrival!!!!....This I would stress is the kind of isolated incident that you get periodically....if a silly tourist is stupid enough to fall for it then they deserve it.....we all had to learn once!!!
When I go to Maroc I always allow a day to get through the port and to travel on to an hotel(the same for the return)
The real road trip starts the next day as it were!! I usually head for an hotel I know at Asilah prefering to keep away from the industrial and commercial port of Tanger...it's only a gate way to get where you need to be IMO. More village/small town hotels (auberges) will be easier to sleep in for your conscience ref.moto getting stolen.
This leads on to the subject of hotel check in.
When you arrive in most bigger towns there'll be a dude who'll approach you on a moped. Don't be alarmed..he's only scouting for the hotels and will guide you to any hotel at any budget you ask for.
When you arrive negotiate a price. Don't be afraid to offer 20 or 30 dirhamsIf favourable then you fill out a form with the same details that you filled out on the boat.
You might get annoyed of having to go through such a mundane a seemingly pointless exercise,but hey,it's Maroc. ( At the end of the day if something were to happen to you in the form of e.g.an accident the police can trace your last whereabouts)
Each hotel in the more built up areas,if no off street parking is available, will have a night watch man who,for about 4 or 5 euros will watch over any vehicles. On that,the last time I was in Fès I stayed in a riad about 200 metres from where I was only able to park in the street. No problem with anything getting stolen.....you just have to take off what you would in Europe.
These dudes will have a gillet on and usually have a baseball bat in the town centres to act as a deterrent to others. It works for us tourists brilliantly.
I never even brought my U lock.
As a guide a disc loaf of bread there is about €0.20 so if you think that giving 'only' €3.00 to the guardian is a lot it's not really...especially when other hotel patrons are doing the same...It's quite a money earner for any local person employed by the hotel or sitting in the street.
I have to log off now...but if you can think of anything else you might need clarified just ask.